I wanted to write a blog flowing with wonderful information on managing your time with tools you would happily implement. But, I can’t.
I have visited too many organizations and worked with too many leaders—and messed up my own time management too many times to flippantly pass on this information.
My friend, for your sake, and the sake of your staff and those you serve, I will give it to you straight. You will thank me…later.
1. Quit Putting Wood On Fires
I hear this over and over: “I just keep getting distracted by putting out fires.” Stop feeding the fires. This means train your staff, let them problem solve, and let them fail until they succeed.
You are not God of your organization. You lead by discipling your team. This helps them learn responsibility and trust. That creates an environment of self-discipline and self-governance.
2. Steward Your Organization, Don’t Own It
A steward is defined as someone who is responsible for and actively directs the affairs of a business, organization, or household. In Biblical terms, we are all stewards of what we are given, whether it is our family, home, finances, property, etc.
Yet sometimes in our leadership position we take on the role of owner. We base our decisions on what is best for me and not the whole of the organization. This dangerous mindset can keep the organization stagnant, or worse, unstable. It can even get you off of where God wants you to lead. Look at what you do through the eyes of a steward.
3. Know Your Top 4 Stewardship Responsibilities
Your top responsibilities need your attention. If you decide your main responsibilities include:
- Being The Voice for The Organization
- Starting Best Practice Programs
- Raising The Revenue for Quality Services
- Leading A World Class Staff
Then your day needs to focus around these responsibilities.
Set a time to plan your week. Sometimes the best time is the Friday before or early Monday morning. If you have an assistant, you would work on this together.
On a chart, have the headings with your top 4 stewardship responsibilities. Add in bullet points for the things you will be doing that correspond to each category.
Review and Determine:
- Are you spending enough time in each area?
- Are there things on your calendar that need to be given to another?
- Are many duties taking you away from the priority areas?
Taking time to work on this will greatly help you stay focused and productive, not just busy.
4. Empower Your Staff
Your staff members are great assets. Yet, too often we do not want to take the chance to have them lead and make decisions. We are afraid of failure.
Being a good steward of people means knowing how to encourage and remind your team of the vision, train them appropriately and let them lead. There will be times of failure and success. Praise them for the success, you share responsibility for the failures and retrain the team members. When you prioritize staff empowerment, independent thinkers and quality doers arise.
5. Stop Holding Information and Exposing Yourself
This is like a bad dream. When these things are present in your organization it exposes the inward struggle of the leader:
- Unwillingness to Relinquish Responsibilities and Duties to The Team
- An Overabundance of Checks and Balances or Approvals to Jump Through
- Holding Secrets or Information Back
This leader doubts themselves, fears failure, and struggles with low self-esteem and maybe pride. When you do not share ideas, tools, information, struggles, or how to succeed—this naturally builds a distrust within the staff.
Honest communication and sharing helps the team to be vested, along with you, in the organization.
Why is this important for time management? Distrust and micro-managing a team bogs a leader down in the muck where s/he can never be truly productive with time.